September 2015: A Month in Books
Green Day once asked to be woken up when September ends. If they are keen readers, in 2015 that would be a big mistake. There is just too much fun literary stuff going on.
There are book festivals galore, BIG new releases well in time for Christmas book sales and a whole host of other things to enjoy whilst the Scottish weather settles into a season it is more comfortable delivering.
Did we miss something you are excited about between Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 30 September? Point others towards it in the comments.
Big New Book Releases
Purity by Jonathan Franzen – 1 September
America's literary fiction superstar releases his first novel in five years. It tells the tale of a young woman called Pip trying to untangle the mystery of her family. Across the pond it has already been lauded for its dazzling writing, and criticised for its portrayal of women.
The Face of Britain: The Nation through Its Portrait by Simon Schama – 16 September
If you tune into Radio 4 towards the middle of this month, expect to hear Simon Schama’s voice. His latest big release combines his two biggest passions in one book: British history and art history. The book is accompanied by a five-part BBC series and a national tour.
Leading by Alex Ferguson – 22 September
It’s Fergie time again this September as Scotland’s most successful football manager follows up his bestselling autobiography with a book full of his advice on becoming a great leader.
List of the Lost by Morrissey – 24 September
‘'Beware the novelist . . . intimate and indiscreet . . . pompous, prophetic airs . . . here is the fact of fiction’ - Morrissey. Details are scarce of big mouth’s first foray into fiction but online retailers have the book filed under ‘Gothic Romance’. Hopefully, it will be a heavenly book to read.
The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood – 24 September
Stan and Charmaine are a married couple whose financial problems draw them towards a social experiment. Atwood’s publishers claim her latest novel is ‘as visionary as The Handmaid's Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin.’ Get in.
Scottish Book Festivals
Visiting Skye is always a magical experience, so visiting the island during a book festival must be off the chart. Join authors Val McDermid, Theresa Breslin and a whole host of other names in Portree and Kilmuir (north or Uig) for three days of events and workshops.
The rise and rise of Bloody Scotland is giving September in Scotland a new edge. Follow the trail to Stirling this year for Linwood Barclay, Martina Cole, the biggest names in Scottish crime writing plus Nordic noir's Arne Dahl, Gunnar Staalesen and Ragnar Johansson.
Now in its third year, North Ayrshire’s independent book festival has a great line-up to offer visitors to Irvine and Largs. For grown-ups there’s Andrew O’Hagan, music journalist Tom Doyle, Sara Sheridan and Ann Cleeves. Children will love events with The Nowhere Emporium author Ross McKenzie, and the wonderful Emily Dodd.
The drama of the Moray coast will become even more breathtaking with five days of literary events including Lesley Glaister, Ann Cleeves, Andrew Greig, Kirsty Wark, Sue Lawrence and a big Bookbug picnic!
All roads lead to Scotland’s national book town (with special mentions for the A75 and A77) for a 10-day literary celebration. Wigtown’s impressive 2015 programme includes appearances from Mairi Hedderwick, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Phill Jupitus, Philip Ardagh, Val McDermid, Alex Salmond, Vince Cable, Don Paterson, Matt Haig as well as shadow puppet workshops, cookery events and much, much more.
Other Literary Happenings
Man Booker shortlist announced - 15 September
The Man Booker longlist has been praised by booksellers for its eclecticism, so expect a lot of interest in what eventually makes the shortlist. Who knows, we might even finish some of them this year! That’s a joke by the way.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Released 4 September
A major young adult adaptation from a much-loved book that wasn't written by John Green is news these days. Author Jesse Andrew's story follows friends Greg and Earl who spend their days making their own versions of cult movie classics. Their world is disrupted when Greg’s mom forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel, who’s suffering from terminal leukaemia.
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – 10 September
The second part of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner pentology (yup, there are three to go) sprints onto screens across the land this month. The first didn’t do much for the critics but crushed it at the box office. In this instalment, having escaped the Maze, ‘the Gladers’ now face a new set of unimaginable obstacles on the open roads of a desolate landscape.
The Martian – 30 September
Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andy Weir’s much-praised, much-loved 2011 sci-fi novel hits movie screens with Matt Damon in the lead role. The story follows astronaut Mark Watney who is left behind on the red planet to fight for himself and try to send a signal back to earth.
Looking for new Scottish books to buy for yourself or your loved ones this autumn? Check out our end of 2015 preview for tips galore.